With the click of a mouse – a like, a share, a follow, a retweet – millions of teachers, parents, and administrators are engaging with their favorite educators on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for practical advice, ideas, and recommendations on all things classroom design, pedagogy, and lifestyle hacks.
New to Spring CUE 2020, the CUE Connect panel discussions bring together successful California eduConnectors, teachers who have mastered the art of sharing their passion and craft across social media platforms. The panels will dive into an honest conversation about the nuts-and-bolts of building a social media presence as well as the current hot topics discussed and their responsibilities as eduConnectors.
Each panel will feature tips and tricks on how these connectors achieved success, an open audience Q & A with the panelists, and an opportunity to meet, greet, and possibly collaborate on a future project!
Megan DuVarney Forbes is a middle school history and English teacher in the Los Angeles area, who also presents regularly on Caribbean history, social justice initiatives in the classroom, and teacher connections on social media. She shares her expertise in history, literature, and pedagogy on her YouTube channel, “Too Cool for Middle School,” as well as on Instagram and Twitter. Megan is the founder of The Brave Teaching Conference and loves to challenge educators to teach difficult and important content in their classrooms. Music is her favorite hobby and she sings with an LA-based gospel choir. She is married to a fellow teacher and they have a 3-year-old son, Jenson.
La Tawnya Robinson
La Tawnya Robinson is an 8th grade teacher from Southern California. She has been teaching for 15 years and has taught in both the elementary and middle school setting. Over the years, La Tawnya has worked both inside and outside of the classroom to provide a strong educational foundation for her students as well as support the needs of teachers. She has opened up her classroom to both student teachers and teachers who are navigating their first couple of years in the profession. In 2016 La Tawnya decided to document an entire school year, by uploading weekly vlogs on YouTube where she shared the ups and downs of teaching. She continues to share weekly vlogs as well as sit down videos on her YouTube channel SmartieStyle. She also documents her life inside and outside of the classroom on her Instagram account under the same name. “My favorite part about being a teacher who is actively engaged on social media is the fact that I get to “talk to” and learn from teachers all over the country and the world. I have a teaching support system that is larger than I could have ever imagined and that is all thanks to social media.” La Tawnya has been featured in Scholastic Teacher Magazine, California Teacher’s Association Magazine, and has worked with several educational brands.
Molly Maloy is a 5th grade teacher in San Diego, where she has been teaching for the past 10 years! She created a teacher blog, www.lessonswithlaughter.com, in 2012 to connect and share classroom ideas with teachers around the world. She is passionate about building a positive classroom community and fostering an engaging learning environment for her students. Molly has been featured on Buzzfeed News and in Scholastic Teacher Magazine. You can connect with Molly on Instagram @lessonswithlaughter where she shares all about classroom organization, lesson ideas, technology in the classroom, and children’s books!
Vanessa is a 2nd grade teacher in Southern California. She runs the Instagram and Youtube pages @My2ndGradeLife. She began Instagram back in the summer of 2016, and her Youtube channel a year later. With a combined following of 50k, she shares her life inside and outside the classroom. She loves documenting her experiences to connect and share ideas with teachers around the world. She has taught for 6 years in multiple grade levels. As a Google Certified Educator, Vanessa strives to bring technology and 21st century learning skills to her 2nd graders at any chance possible.
Darin Nakakihara is in his 8th year of teaching in IUSD. He has his Masters in Educational Technology. He has collaborated with teachers as a district TOSA and has taught 4th and 5th grade, and is currently a middle school technology teacher at Beacon Park School in Irvine, CA. He has been recognized as IUSDs Teacher of Promise, Orange County CUEs Outstanding Emerging Educator and last year he was awarded the Digital Innovator of the Year at the Impact Driven Teacher Conference in Miami. Darin is a Google Certified Innovator (SWE17) and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. He was the local keynote speaker at the Gates Foundation’s Better Together California Teachers Summit and has also presented at ISTE Chicago, National CUE, Las Vegas Google Summit and the OC CUE conference.
Dave Farina has a BA in chemistry from Carleton College, and an MA in science education from California State University, Northridge. After years of teaching chemistry in the classroom, he turned his attention to science communication in 2015, focusing primarily on a YouTube channel named Professor Dave Explains. His channel serves as a database of nearly a thousand tutorials in a wide variety of scientific fields, which aim for a level of depth that is useful for high school and undergraduate students, while remaining accessible enough for a layperson to feel engaged. Dave is passionate about helping students all over the world reach their academic and career goals, as well as encouraging the public towards science literacy, given that anti-science sentiment has been growing in recent years. Dave is devoted to diagnosing and disarming common anti-science narratives, and exposing pseudoscience wherever it crops up in society.
Visit and Subscribe to Dave’s YouTube Channel Professor Dave Explains
Breanna is a 5th grade teacher from Southern California. She runs a Youtube Channel, Instagram, and TeachersPayTeachers pages
@Bre-tiful Teaching. Breanna enjoys creating, implementing, and discussing her lesson plan ideas with other educators on her social media platforms through self-reflection, honest discussion, and authentic storytelling. She loves to connect with educators around the world to discuss teaching, self-care, and building a positive classroom environment. Breanna has a Master’s Degree in Education emphasizing in Instruction and Curriculum and loves to create lessons with high student involvement to ensure active learning is taking place in her classroom.
Marie Morris is a high school English Language Arts teacher in San Diego. Her classroom is centered on student choice and responsibility, and everything from the semi-flexible seating layout to choice in learning content is designed to foster a sense of classroom community. Marie discovered and joined the world of teacher social media in 2018, and connecting with other educators has revitalized her teaching practice. She shares strategies, lessons, and other insights gained in her 12+ years of teaching through her blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram. Marie is married to a fellow high school teacher, and they have two young children who keep her on her toes!
“Jazzy” is an elementary school teacher in Southern California. She got her Bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from California State University San Marcos. She also has a Master’s degree in Administration and one day hopes to be her own teacher boss. She started youtube in the fall of 2018 and became obsessed with talking about her life in front of the camera. Her channel is a hybrid of teaching content, lifestyle, and beauty content since she often feels “torn between two worlds”. Her favorite thing about youtube has been being able to connect with so many people around the country and allowing people to see her be her most authentic self both inside and outside of the classroom. She has taught multiple grade levels ranging from Kindergarten-5th grade and loves to instill a sense of confidence and positivity in her students.
Moderators: Natalie Preister & Dr. Edward Tse
Spring CUE will be in Palm Springs once again for 2020, hosting over 5000 education-minded and EdTech loving attendees at the longest-running, largest annual event on the West Coast. There are over 42 years of CUE institutional knowledge shared at Spring CUE each year – join us this year to change how you teach: CUE.org/Spring